What’s the Difference Between Would and Should?

Would and should are two words that have many uses in English, but they are not exactly the same. Both words are modal auxiliaries, or helping verbs, which combine with another verb to specify tense or mood. They are used interchangeably in everyday conversation, so it’s important to learn the difference between them before using them in sentences. Here’s a helpful guide to help you choose the correct one. Would is a more formal word, while should is more informal.


We often use the verb could to talk about past and present abilities. However, in this sentence, the use of could is unnecessary and ungrammatical. The word could is used to describe an action or ability, rather than an actual action. The past form of could is “was” and means someone had the ability to do something. The verb could also be used to talk about a past event. For example, if someone could have been an astronaut, she could have successfully landed on the moon.

The word could is often followed by the infinitive without the preposition ‘to’. The subjunctive mood is uncommon in English, but it can be used to indicate a state of being or to suggest an action. It’s the same as ‘can’ and is used to express an idea that something or someone may be able to do it. For instance, you could make a proposal to a friend who had an aircraft to fly to the moon.

A person could speak Arabic. This is a modal verb, implying that the speaker is capable of speaking the language. Could also refer to a container, usually a cylindrical plastic or odd-shaped object. Could also be used to suggest the ability to stop or fire someone. It is a useful auxiliary verb when talking about the past or present. Its use is more common in a negative sense. A person could be able to do something but not do it, while a person could be able to do it.

Could means the possibility of doing something, but it doesn’t mean it should. As a helper verb, could should be used with another verb. You may also use the verb ‘have’ instead of ‘of’. This is the correct way to use could. In many cases, the word could replace ‘have’ when it should not. Nevertheless, it’s still incorrect to use ‘of’ in formal writing. It’s also better to use ‘have’ in the first place.

Could is a conditional verb, but it is also useful in situations where it implies possibility. When used in the conditional present or future tenses of the verb could, this word conveys possibility, whereas would expresses ability and certainty. However, would is more commonly used in conversation and formal writing. If you’re planning to write a long article, make sure to use could. It’s easier to write a longer and more accurate piece when the word could be substituted.